Why Disciple Making Movements?

What is all the “fuss” about?  Why are people passionate about Disciple Making Movements or Church Planting Movements?  Are they just another missions “fad”? Some have said these are the only way forward to fulfill the Great Commission, but some speak out against them.

If you are reading this and you’ve been attempting to start a DMM (Disciple Making Movement) for some time, read on.  You will be encouraged and inspired again.  We’d love to hear in the comments why you got “on board” with the vision for DMMs.  Tell us your story! Here’s mine.

How Cynthia’s DMM Story Began…

The God-sized dream of seeing movements of disciples among the last, least, and lost began for me more than thirty years ago.  It’s morphed and changed through the years.  I’ve had incredible highs and painful lows.  Yet this vision still burns strong inside my heart.  It still gets me out of bed in the morning.  You may wonder why it’s had such longevity. Let me back up a bit and give you a bit of my history.

I am a missionary kid.  I grew up in the rainforests of West Africa.  It was there, as a child, that I began to catch a heart for lost people. My father often went to remote African villages on a motorcycle, crossing rivers on rafts, trekking into the “bush” (the West African word for jungle) to share the good news with those who would have no other opportunity to hear it. Young Cynthia, in ponytails and short pants, would climb on the back of that motorbike and ride out with him. I loved the adventure and time with my dad! I also loved, and caught, his passion for making Jesus known to others.

Years later, God called my husband and me into church planting ministry. We knew we were to go to those who were “yet to hear.”  Pregnant with our first baby, we left for the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal. A few months later, holding our daughter, just a baby in our arms, and in the early stages of language learning, we heard George Patterson speak at a seminar. We were introduced to what he called Train and Multiply.  Our vision shifted in that workshop from the goal of starting one church to starting churches that started other churches and multiplied.

Nepal scene
How would they hear unless someone told them? Unless the churches we started multiplied?

As we looked at the great challenge of the millions of lost people around us, we knew something had to be different from historic church planting approaches.  We had to work in such a way that more people could meet Jesus and have their lives transformed.  We wanted to disciple a nation, not just one or two people- or even a few hundred!  The only possibility to disciple a nation was if huge numbers of people came sweeping into God’s Kingdom in a rapid way.

Seeing the Desperate Lostness Around Us Broke Our Hearts

We were emotionally impacted by the desperateness of the lost condition of the people we now lived among.  I’ll never forget the first time I saw a dead body being carried on the shoulders of a few men, down the street, and to the cremation site.  The question arose in my heart, “I wonder if they got the chance to hear the gospel?”  It bothered me deeply. I knew the likely answer was no.

Somehow we had to find ways for more people to hear of Jesus!  We had to find ways for more to believe, and when they did, to be discipled.  Somehow, we had to find a way where true exponential multiplication would happen.  It was the only answer I could find to the lost condition of the hundreds of thousands, apart from the saving knowledge of Jesus. Day after day I saw them, lost, without an understanding of God’s love.

40“I tell you,” He answered, “if they remain silent, the very stones will cry out.41 “As Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.”

In Luke 19: 40 and 41, we read two seemingly disconnected verses.

They lead us to my two main answers to the question – Why DMMs?

  1. Jesus deserves the worship of all, and 
  2. Jesus’ heart is broken for the lost.

If we don’t make disciples of a lot of people, who make disciples of a lot more people, until the world is filled with the glory of God and all the nations worship Him…the rocks will cry out.  He must be worshiped. He is worthy of it.

Jesus saw Jerusalem and wept. His heart was shattered by their great spiritual need. It caused tears to flow.

Has He Broken Your Heart With The Things That Break His?

The millions around me who have never heard, compel me to take action.  I want them all to hear! I want them all to have the chance to experience His love, transformation, and miracles as I have.

DMMs are the most effective way I have found of seeing massive numbers of lost people come to know Jesus in the nations where millions of lost reside. DMMs are the fastest possible way to see these nations transformed and discipled.

I could give lots of statistics as to Why DMMs?  Maybe one day I’ll write another blog about that.  For me, however, DMMs just make sense.  Do the math.  It’s not hard. Even for someone like me, who needs to pull out a calculator to do simple fractions, or ask my smart husband for help!

Multiplication is going to lead to more than addition. It’s as simple as that.

We have to pursue discipleship methods and approaches that multiply rather than simply add new people to the family…to the Kingdom. We have to adopt multiplication mindsets and multiplication methods to our disciple-making!

Ready to go after DMMs yet?  Hungry to learn how to multiply disciples?  Step-by-step resources and encouragement are available to help.

What is your why DMMs answer?

We’d love to hear from you. Please share in the comments or on the DMMs Frontier Missions Facebook Group.


  1. Brian Mallalieu

    Thanks & my reasons are exactly the same as yours!

    A second exciting reason to give thanks to God is for technology developing apps (e.g. 5Fish) for mobiles which can enable millions to download Gospel Recordings & Bibles to listen (& with others) in Discovery Bible Studies that lead to Ecclesia & multiply. This is another ginormous potential step change in missional impact i.e. if they are aware & trained how to.


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      Definitely an exciting development! Do you know of any good articles that tell us more about, measure and evaluate the impact of this on DMMs? I’d be interested and I think other readers of this blog would be too. Blessings!

  2. Rady

    In Cambodia, our vision “One nation, one generation”. we believe that God can change Cambodia in this generation, where we live right now. and i believe that DMMs is the fastest possible way to reach out to the whole Country and seeing one nation changed by the good news of Jesus.
    Right now, we have a team to move to a new province Southwest of Cambodia (Koh Kong). Our main focus is to see DMMs. Please pray for us, we will move to live there in this coming November 3th 2020. Blessings,

  3. Bandong Anguh

    Greeting. I get excited everytime I know a soul is being wine for Christ. Multiplying disciples is the key to growing the church.

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    Great comission, Mey God of all powers be lifted.I pray for the hollyspirit to move on so that we reach all nations

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